These are strange times for everyone. This weekend I had a terrifying realization that I was very close to officially reaching rock bottom. It is a shameful thing that I am going to share, but here it goes. I am a New York Jets fan (no, that’s NOT the rock bottom I am referring to!). It is t…

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I hadn’t heard from Don Herman in quite a while. He lives in Houston and is the son of a World War II vet who owns a chapter in my book, “Tell Me Your Story,” a tome dedicated to men and women of all wars who held stories deep within them, many of which were previously untold.

First introduced in 1944, Smokey Bear has become the recognized symbol of wildfire prevention across America. Even though Smokey Bear’s message, “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires,” is known by most adults, many residents still wonder how Smokey Bear became the spokesanimal for the longest runn…

I posted the picture on Facebook. A few minutes later, I saw a comment on my post that caused me to pause. An emoji appeared with a hand over a smiley face, suggesting incredulity. When I looked at my post again, embarrassment swept over me. I quickly deleted it but the damage had been done.…

One of the tips given to the public for dealing with coronavirus, aside from washing your hands and not gathering in large groups, is to stock up on two weeks of supplies, in case we have to quarantine ourselves.

I am writing this column from within the library, although we are currently closed to the public. We hope this closure will help to flatten the curve of virus cases in our community, helping our health care providers to not be overwhelmed with too many cases at once. Additionally, we are con…

Quinn Colson, the former U.S. Army Ranger come home to clean up his corruption-giddy rural Mississippi county, is the hero in a series of richly regional mysteries by Ace Atkins, and displays the usual honorable qualities as well as one endearingly human habit: He smokes cigars.

As America battles the invisible enemy of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), an exponentially growing silent killer, we find ourselves in a situation that is unprecedented in scale, a danger to our fellow citizens, and in the economic destruction and financial shock it is already causing.

You’re probably aware by now that the library closed to the public on March 16th in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and as an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. We appreciate your understanding during this trying time, and want to remind you that, even in the midst of a pandemic, …

I love reading maps in my spare time, and therefore rarely ask for directions, even when I’m not quite sure where I’m going. There’s something in me that likes figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B without any help. It’s one of my rare talents, but I was born with a spot-on sense o…

My dog, Anna, came up to me this morning. She nudged me with her snout. She pushed in and tried to get in my face. I pushed her away at first. I wasn’t in the mood. Like many of you, the news of what’s happening had gotten to me. Then I looked at her and wrapped my arms around her and gave h…

Editor’s note: The South County Chapter of the League of Women Voters will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States this year in a series of monthly columns in The Sun. The amendment, which gave women the right to vote, b…

Forgive me if I repeat myself here, but since I moved to Rhode Island many years ago, I have definitely fallen in love with the beauty and history of this lovely little state. I came upon a fun book called “You Know You’re in Rhode Island When …” by Ryder Windham. Some of the tidbits he desc…

Like the subjects covered on a TV or radio talk show, many of the topics I write about in these articles are issue-driven. This installment is no exception, as the recent stories of local elderly drivers going the wrong way on entry ramps to the interstate suggested it was time to revisit th…

We’ve all experienced that “Are we there yet?” moment. Maybe it was the kids bouncing around in the back seat on the way to the amusement park. It could have been that trip to grandma’s house. I know that I’ve uttered it on more than one occasion. It doesn’t stop when we grow up. We want wha…

I attended the Chariho School Meeting Forum on March 3. While I didn’t speak at the forum, I did put together my thoughts about the forum on paper, and then, after sharing them with some committee members, I was encouraged to share those thoughts more publicly with the paper.

‘Can I talk to you after the service?” she said. Arlene was new. I recognized her. She had been to church before and signed our guest book. She told me her name. I recognized it from the guest book. It was good to put a name and a face together. Yet, I wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to sp…

With regard to the ongoing School Building project, I realize many if not most community members don’t fully understand how we arrived where we are today.

It’s that time of year again — tax time! April 15 will be here before we know it. Westerly Library has some of the most-requested federal and Connecticut tax forms available for our patrons at a special table on the first floor. However, be warned — the instruction booklets run out quickly, …

Back in 1976, Author Alex Haley published his novel, “Roots,” based on his family history. It was a literary work of art and spurred the television mini-series that was watched by millions. As we learned about a native Gambian slave named Kunta Kinte, and the generations that followed, it sp…

Increasingly, libraries have become “community sites,” not just places for books and tapes ... the quiet library of the past is not the library of the present. One has only to check out the monthly calendar at the Westerly Library to see the program for adults, teens and children, such as co…

I love movies. Maybe that’s why date night for Lori and me is so much fun. We grab a movie and make some pizza. We light a fire in the fireplace and then settle in to see the show. Who needs to go out when you can have an adventure right in your living room? This past week we took a trip to …

He tried to trick me. I caught him. He added five pounds to the weight I was trying to lift. I pretended that I didn’t see it and promptly changed it back. Then I proceeded to do the curls on the machine. That’s what I like about Arthur. He is always pushing me to do better. He challenges me…

People have widely mixed feelings about the genre of “true crime.” Some describe books and films of this type as “ghoulish” or “crass.” Others see them as “compelling” or “spellbinding.” One thing we can all agree on: they are certainly not boring.

Every year, the Alzheimer’s Association releases a report on the impact of Alzheimer’s dementia in this country. As you would expect, the information it contains is compelling. As I work regularly with formal and informal caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, I was drawn t…

I will never forget the day that Dave walked into my office with a gift. He heard that one of the members of the congregation was having a difficult time. In his hands he had a coffee tin filled with change. He estimated that it was between three and five hundred dollars. His only instructio…

I love working at the library and especially with the old photographs and books we have in our Special Collections room. Reading about Westerly in past centuries and looking at photographs from the 1800s helps me connect the past to the present. I am definitely the kind of person who fervent…

Many people have asked me about my position as the fire safety specialist for the Rhode Island Southern Firefighters League and have asked questions about what the Southern League is. I would like to use this article to educate the public on the efforts of this dedicated group. 

I want to apologize in advance for bringing up a real stinky subject. It has to do with “curbing” your dog. I will never forget a cartoon that pictured two aliens looking down on a local park. One says to the other, “The brown furry one must be the leader. The other one is stooping down to p…

The new year, along with the most of our well-intentioned, obligatory resolutions, is gone. I’m here to tell you how the Westerly Library can help you do something beginning right now that will help you keep more money in your wallet, and isn’t that a great idea? There are many ways that sim…

Since 2004 the Veterans of Foreign Wars has provided more than $5 million of grants through its Unmet Needs program to cover housing costs and basic needs for struggling military families. This month, the VFW shared the story of an Army veteran and his family who were helped out during a dif…

My jaw dropped as I heard her tell the story. She said, “Harry and I got there early. We wanted to celebrate with our friends.” Then she went on to tell how everything started to happen. The Bishop arrived. The crowd swelled. Before they knew it, they had been ushered into the church and a v…

In virtually all the predictions of what will be hot in the 2020 General Assembly session, there has been little mention of environmental policy. It is imperative that we make progress in 2020 on several fronts including plastics pollution, sea level rise, renewable energy, sustaining a clea…